Bar Association Essay Winners Announced

Staff Report
BRADENTON — The Manatee County Bar Association announced the winners of its Law Day 2018 essay contest this week. Seventh grade students attending public, private, or homeschool in Manatee County were invited to submit essays on this year's theme: "Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom."

Held annually in May, Law Day celebrates the role of law in society and seeks to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession, providing an opportunity for students to learn about the United States legal and justice system.

The first place winner was Matthew Iacobelli of Nolan Middle School. In second place was Amber Polis, and in third place is Grace Pino, both of St. Joseph Catholic School.

The contest was judged without knowledge of the students’ identities or school affiliation, and scoring was based on originality and interpretation of the Law Day 2018 theme. The winner and the first and second runners-up will receive prizes and recognition by the MCBA at the MCBA’s Law Day Luncheon in May 2018.

Judges of the essay contest included retired Circuit Court Judge Janette Dunnigan, an adjunct professor at Thomas Cooley Law School in Tampa; Mary R. Hawk, a principal and partner with the law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. in Bradenton; and Jamie Serino, Executive Director of Take Stock in Children of Manatee County. 

Jennifer Fowler-Hermes, a labor and employment attorney with Williams Parker in Sarasota, coordinated the contest and donated the prizes for the top scoring students.